Wanderlusting: Sullivan’s Island and Fort Moultrie
“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.” ~ Lawrence Durrell
It was a foggy morning, so we decided to forego the sunrise and catch up on some ZZZs. We made two coffee stops, Starbucks for my friend and City Market Coffee for me before we headed to Sullivan’s Island.
Sullivan’s Island is a small island community located at the entrance of Charleston Harbor. Originally named O’Sullivan Island for Captain Florence O’Sullivan, a ship’s captain who was stationed on the island and helped establish an Irish settlement in the area. It is also home to Fort Moultrie, which played a huge role in the shaping of the island as well as this country.
While Sullivan’s Island has had a huge role in shaping our country, some of it’s historical significance is downright abhorrent. It was used as the port of entry for over forty percent of African slaves who entered America. African slaves were held in quarantine, until they were taken to Charleston to be sold. Many African Americans today can trace their ancestors back to Sullivan’s Island.
Coffee in hand, we drove the twenty minutes to the Island and found parking close to the beach.
It was one of those mornings where the figure of speech of “Cutting through the fog with a knife” was highly appropriate. In fact you probably needed a chainsaw with how thick it was.
And I loved it! I adore the beach in all kinds of weather, especially the fog and thunderstorms. There is a rawness and beauty in Mother Nature’s volatileness that is felt when at the beach.
The fog didn’t deter people where out and about playing with their pups and taking strolls. Rhiannon and I walked around snapping pictures and doing a little bit of beach combing.
Probably the biggest yet funniest disappointment of the trip was Sullivan’s Lighthouse. I LOVE lighthouses. Lighthouses are amazing. I am obsessed. I have never met a lighthouse I didn’t like.
Holy moly, I have never seen a more ugly lighthouse. Part of the allure of a lighthouse is the history and oldness of it. The fact that it has withstood years of beating waves and inclement weather.
I had seen pictures online so I knew when they replaced Morris Light in the sixties they had decided to build a “newfangled” “Modern” Lighthouse.
Which is flipping ugly. And also uninhabitable. Allegedly they are working on restoring it, but honestly it ain’t worth it! I took one. ONE picture of it.
Originally known as Fort Sullivan, Fort Moultrie was renamed after the Colonel William Moultrie who gallantly fought against the British, preventing them from taking Charleston in one of the first Southern battles of the Revolutionary War.
At the time of the battle, the fort was not yet complete, but because it was built from palmetto logs, the soft wood absorbed the cannon fire, rather then cracking. While eventually the British did seize the fort and Charleston a few years later, this battle galvanized the Patriot cause which they ultimately won.
As part of the Seacoast Defense System, Fort Moultrie played a pivotal role in every American war until it’s decommissioning in 1960 when the National Park Service took it over. While the Fort was subsequently rebuilt after the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and updated before and after World War I. Its last overhaul was during World War II and as such much of what remains is influenced by that period.
Exploring Fort Moultrie
I have written about my love of forts before, and Fort Moultrie was intriguing because it really is a smorgasbord of eras from the Revolutionary War to World War II.
History was felt in every step we took as we explored through the endless tunnels of rooms, even hitting a few dead ends at times.
We were able to climb atop the bunkers and into some of the watchtowers which offered stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston. It was fun to explore, and we even meandered along the landscaped paths down to the beach. We worked up quite an appetite.
The Obstinate Daughter
We decided to eat at the Obstinate Daughter, a restaurants famous for its brunch. Paying homage to the Revolutionary War and the battle that was won at Fort Moultrie, it is not at all colonial era, but incredibly nautical. I fell in love with the decor at once.
The place was hopping when we got there, and while we hadn’t made any reservations, they thankfully squeezed us in. The food (and coffee!) was delicious! I had ordered an egg skillet, which was perfect for brunch. From the staff, to the atmosphere to the food, I would happily come back here.
Underneath the Obstinate Daughter, (which is on the second floor) we discovered a sweet shop that was calling our name. I am never one to turn down ice cream and I was intrigued by the uniqueness of flavors they were offering, including olive oil ice cream.
Being a foodie, I have heard of olive oil ice cream, which is popular in Europe, but has yet to make its way to the states and being given the chance, I could not wait to try it!
Oh my lanta! It is SO flipping good!
I honestly wasn’t sure when I first tasted it, but bite after bite, I was won over and so sad when I finished the salty creamy goodness. It seriously hit the spot and was the perfect way to end our adventure on Sullivan’s Island.
Have you been to Sullivan’s Island? Have YOU tried olive oil ice cream?